By Michael Gibbs, CEO — Go Cloud Careers
Artificial intelligence is the most exciting innovation to hit the tech world in decades. It has unleashed new capabilities that promise to significantly reshape the way tech work is done. It also has millions of tech workers worried.
Media reports suggest that AI could replace as many as 5 percent of full-time technology roles each year over the next four to five years. That would account for 250,000 jobs a year in the US alone.
The good news for tech workers is AI has its limitations. The key for today’s tech worker is understanding which jobs AI can’t do.
Capitalizing on AI’s weaknesses
Artificial intelligence is a disruptive technology that changes how we work and how we live. The businesses that leverage it gain a competitive advantage, while those who don’t find themselves unable to compete.
The disruption that AI is bringing to the cybersecurity space can already be seen. Recent reports show that AI-assisted cybersecurity dramatically shortens the length of data breach lifecycles, reducing them by more than 100 days and saving organizations nearly $2 million in breach-related costs. AI delivers cybersecurity results that are faster, more precise, and more effective than those provided by humans alone.
Still, AI is incapable of accomplishing a lot of tasks conducted in the tech space. It cannot lead teams of people, establish meaningful connections with clients and coworkers, or convince a CEO of the need to commit resources to enhancing technology platforms.
Tech workers who want to thrive in the AI era will need to focus on developing and delivering those types of human skills.
Developing future-proof skills
The tech workers who want to be safe as AI evolves must move beyond mastering technology to become experts at leveraging technology to improve business performance. Those who cultivate business acumen have key insights into the ways finances, operations, strategy, and competition impact business success. Bringing that understanding to the tech space allows them to deliver solutions rather than just products.
Executive presence is another skill that can help tech workers to become future-proof. It allows them to step into meetings with C-suite level leaders, speak their language, understand their issues, and address their concerns. AI may be able to detect malware faster than a human, but it can’t explain to a CEO the return on investment his company will get from an AI-driven cybersecurity platform.
Emotional intelligence is being cited as one of the most important skills for workers to develop in the age of AI. EQ generally allows workers to build better relationships with clients and coworkers by understanding and managing emotions. Employees with high EQ are also considered to be highly flexible and adaptable, which are critical skills to have in today’s ever-changing workplace.
AI does not bring any of these important skills to an organization, which means those who can provide them will be in high demand. Tech workers who are relying on technical, hands-on skills, however, may find themselves quickly replaced by AI.
Examples of tech jobs that will survive
Cloud architects and enterprise architects stand as great examples of tech positions AI won’t replace. Architects design solutions that improve business performance. To do that, they must deliver all of the future-proof skills listed above.
The architect must interview clients to identify their business goals. This requires business acumen, executive presence, and emotional intelligence. Consider also that in some cases the key conversations between an architect and a client take place over dinner or on a golf course, two very human venues where AI offers little value.
Once architects understand clients’ needs, they must lead a team of tech pros who bring solutions to life. This requires overseeing the creation of a tech blueprint that delivers the proper solution. Emotional intelligence and leadership are key qualities that architects bring to this process.
Those in the right positions — which are those heavily dependent on human skills — shouldn’t doubt their job security in the age of AI. In fact, they may even see salary growth as they leverage AI to develop even more effective and efficient technology solutions.
For those whose expertise is limited to hands-on positions, now is the time to consider developing the skills that will allow you to shift to new technology roles. AI can already do many hands-on tech jobs cheaper, faster, and with higher accuracy than the humans who previously managed them. As the technology evolves, it promises to automate more and more positions within the tech space.
About the Author
Michael Gibbs is the CEO of Go Cloud Careers, a global organization that provides training for elite cloud computing careers. Go Cloud Careers is focused on helping individuals achieve their dream technology careers by getting hired. Michael has 25 years of experience in networking, cloud computing, and IT security.
Michael can be reached online at email@example.com , YouTube,